Osteoporosis, or age-related bone loss, occurs when your bone strength decreases and your risk of a broken bone increases. According to research, it's the most common reason for a broken bone in elderly people.
Thin, petite women as well as small-boned men are at greater chance of developing osteoporosis, compared to those with larger frames and more body weight. If you've got a small frame - or are at higher risk of osteoporosis for another reason, such as low sex hormones - I bet you're wondering what you can do to prevent the developing fragile bones that break easily…
According to a brand new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, a combination of certain dairy foods and vitamin D supplements is the answer to preventing osteoporosis.
Approximately 10m Americans older than 50 have osteoporosis, while 44m have low bone density
Osteoporosis is a common problem among people around the globe. Statistics show that 10m Americans older than 50 have osteoporosis, while 44m have low bone density – a condition that increases risk of bone fractures, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Osteoporosis doesn’t only increase risk of fractures, but also decreases quality of life, results in loss of physical function and can even increase risk of death.
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Harvard study shows that combination of certain dairy foods and vitamin D supplements may help keep osteoporosis at bay
The study was funded by the US National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
To reach their findings, the team of researchers from Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Senior Life and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell looked at study subjects who were enrolled in the long-running Framingham Study, which began in 1948 and followed the health and habits of people in Framingham, Massachusetts in the USA.
They found that consuming certain dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, contributed to higher bone mineral density in the spine and less bone loss in the hip in older adults who also took vitamin D supplements.
The team explained that vitamin D supplements help prevent bone loss by stimulating calcium absorption, which promotes bone building.
They said that this study is noteworthy because it looked at dairy beyond milk and that it “clarified that the association of dairy foods with bone density is dependent on adequate vitamin D intake,” according to Shivani Sahni, lead author of the study and director of the nutrition programme at Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research.
However, Sahni said that further research is needed to confirm these findings.
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